"Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" is a research vessel, flagship of the USSR Space Research Service ships.
Built at the Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad in 1971. The length of the eleven-deck motor ship is 231.6 m, the width is 32 m, the main engine power is 14,000 kW, the speed is 18 knots, the displacement is 45,000 tons. The crew is 136 people, the composition of the expedition is 212 people. On board 1250 rooms, incl. 86 laboratories. It was designed to solve control and communication problems simultaneously with several spacecraft and the Flight Control Center through the Molniya spacecraft.
There are 75 antennas on board, incl. two antennas with parabolic reflectors 25 m in diameter. The ship could have been in autonomous navigation for 130 days. Work area - Atlantic Ocean.
The Maritime Space Fleet is a large detachment of Soviet expeditionary ships and warships, which was directly involved in the creation of the USSR nuclear missile shield, in providing space flight design tests; devices, flight control of manned spacecraft and orbital stations launched from Soviet testing grounds. Vessels of the Maritime Space Fleet; participated; in a number of works on international space programs.
The idea of creating marine measuring points was put forward by academician S. P. Korolev after the successful launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, when his OKB-1 began the practical implementation of the human space flight program.
In 1959, it became necessary to control the accuracy of the fall of the warheads of Soviet ballistic missiles during their test launches into the central part of the Pacific Ocean. For this purpose, the first floating measuring complex was created as part of the ships of the USSR Navy: Siberia, Sakhalin, Suchan, Chukotka. As a legend, this compound was given the name "Pacific Hydrographic Expedition-4" (TOGE-4).
Work was in full swing on the creation of the first automatic interplanetary stations of the "Mars" and "Venus" type, the manned spacecraft "Vostok". The ballistics specialists determined that to control the second launch of Soviet interplanetary space stations from an intermediate orbit, control the activation of the braking engines of spacecraft for descent from orbit into the territory of the USSR, the equatorial zone of the Atlantic could be the only measurement area.
Calculations have shown that during orbital flights around the Earth 6 of 16 daily orbits pass over the Atlantic Ocean and are "invisible" from ground measuring points on the territory of the USSR. In reality, the issue of creating specialized vessels capable of monitoring the flights of manned spacecraft and carrying out the necessary radio communication with their crews from the Atlantic Ocean has become urgent.
Telemetry radio equipment was urgently installed on three merchant ships of the USSR Ministry of the Sea Fleet: Voroshilov, Krasnodar and Dolinsk. Expeditions of these vessels, staffed by engineers and technicians from the Moscow Region Research Institute, embarked on their first voyages in August 1960. After work on the launch of the first automatic interplanetary stations and control of flights of unmanned spacecraft, these vessels ensured the reception of telemetric information during the landing of the Vostok spacecraft with the first cosmonaut of the Planet Yu. A. Gagarin. Three TOGE-4 spacecraft were involved in telemetry control over the flight of the Vostok spacecraft over the Pacific Ocean.
During subsequent launches of automatic interplanetary stations and spacecraft, ships of the Atlantic complex and ships in the Pacific Ocean were involved in work according to a similar scheme.
In 1963, the creation of the "Sea Space Fleet" was legally registered in the space flight control loop, which was unified with the ground command and measurement complex of the USSR.
In connection with the expansion of the program of research and development of outer space and, in particular, for the first lunar program of the USSR, it took five well-equipped specialized ships. In 1967, in Leningrad, the following ships were built in record time: the command-measuring complex “Cosmonaut; Vladimir Komarov "four telemetric measuring vessels:" Borovichi "," Nevel "," Kegostrov "," Morzhovets ". The new ships in their appearance differed sharply from merchant ships and warships. It was decided to include them in the scientific, with the right to carry the pennant of the scientific expeditionary fleet of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The crews of these ships consisted of civilian sailors of the USSR Ministry of Marine Fleet, and the expeditions were formed from the number of scientific workers of the research institute, civil engineers and technicians.
In 1969, the Space Research Service of the Department of Marine Expeditionary Operations of the USSR Academy of Sciences (SKI OMER of the USSR Academy of Sciences) was established in Moscow to manage and control the Marine Space Fleet.
Under the second Soviet program of exploration of the Moon planet, in 1970-1971, unique ships entered the ranks of the space fleet: "Academician Sergei Korolev" and "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin". They embodied the latest achievements of domestic science and technology and were able to independently perform all tasks related to the flight support of various spacecraft, manned spacecraft and orbital stations.
From 1977 to 1979, the Maritime Space Fleet included four more telemetry ships, on the sides of which the names of the hero-cosmonauts were inscribed: Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov, Cosmonaut Georgy Dobrovolsky, Cosmonaut Pavel Belyaev and Cosmonaut Viktor Patsaev ". Three large ships "Services" were assigned to the Black Sea Shipping Company of the USSR in Odessa, telemetry vessels to the Baltic Shipping Company of the USSR in Leningrad.
In 1979, the "Sea Space Fleet" consisted of 11 specialized ships and, until the collapse of the USSR, participated in providing flights of spacecraft for various purposes.
By 2004, only two ships survived from the Marine Space Fleet in Kaliningrad: Cosmonaut Georgy Dobrovolsky and Cosmonaut Viktor Patsaev (the latter was opened as a museum afloat at the pier of the World Ocean Museum). The owner of these vessels, periodically involved in work on the ISS, is Rosaviakosmos. The remaining nine ships of the Marine Space Fleet were written off and scrapped ahead of schedule (including the R / V ASK and R / V KYUG privatized by Ukraine were sold at the price of scrap metal to India in 1996).
The Pacific floating measuring complex was improved along with the development of Soviet rocket and space technology. Following TOGE-4 in 1963. appeared TOGE-5 (EOS "Chazhma", EOS "Chumikan"). 1984, 1990 the fleet was replenished with ship measuring complexes "Marshal Nedelin", "Marshal Krylov".
Eight ships served as part of the Pacific Fleet under the flag of the Soviet Navy, six of them were decommissioned and disposed of, one was sold for re-equipment. As part of the Pacific Fleet of Russia, he serves the KIK "Marshal Krylov".
Research vessels participating in space exploration programs constitute a special class of ocean-going vessels. Everything is unusual with them: the architectural appearance, the equipment of the premises, the sailing conditions.
The architectural appearance of space fleet ships is determined primarily by the powerful designs of antenna systems. For example, such architectural elements as the 25-meter mirrors of "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" or the 18-meter snow-white balls of radio transparent antenna shelters on the "Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov" attract attention in the first place and immediately create a dominant impression. A closer look reveals dozens of other antennas, of a wide variety of sizes and designs. There is no such abundance of antennas, of course, on any other vessel.
The antennas and scientific equipment with which the NIS expeditionary laboratories are equipped make specific requirements for the seaworthiness and technical characteristics of these vessels. High seaworthiness is necessary for ships to perform scientific tasks that have to be solved in all regions of the World Ocean, at any time of the year and in any weather. Expedition ships must go to those points of the ocean, which are determined by ballistic calculations, and perform the assigned work there. Sometimes they cannot even freely choose their course during a communication session in order to facilitate navigation in rough seas: the course is rigidly determined by the objectives of the session, the direction of the flight path and the angles of view of the ship's antennas. Vessels must be well controlled, especially at low speeds and in drift - possible modes of movement during communication sessions.
One of the main requirements for space fleet ships is their high autonomy. Autonomy characterizes the ability of a vessel to stay at sea for a long time without entering ports to replenish supplies of fuel, lubricating oils, fresh water and provisions. High autonomy allows the vessel not to interrupt the program of communication sessions, not to waste time on transitions from the area of operation to the port to replenish ship's stores. Given the large, as a rule, remoteness of these regions, the loss of time for transitions would be significant and, possibly, would require an increase in the number of research vessels providing space flights in the ocean.
The autonomy of the space fleet ships is limited mainly by fresh water and provisions. For example, vessels of average displacement such as "Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov" can sail without replenishing provisions for 90 days, the supply of fresh water for them is designed for 30 days. In order to achieve high autonomy, the vessels are equipped with capacious provisions pantries equipped with powerful refrigeration equipment. Water autonomy can be increased by using desalination plants available on ships.
Space fleet vessels often conduct communications while drifting or at anchor. Therefore, fuel for cars is spent mainly on crossings. Fuel reserves determine another important characteristic of the vessel - the continuous sailing range. Having a long cruising range, the vessel may not interrupt work with space objects to enter the port to receive fuel. This, as well as autonomy, essentially increases the efficiency of using the space fleet. To judge the real values of the cruising range, let us point out, for example, that for the "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" it is 20 thousand miles. This distance is only slightly less than the imaginary ocean crossing around the globe at the equator.
The next characteristic of the R / V is stability and the related parameters of rolling in waves. The radio and electronic equipment, which forms the basis of the expeditionary equipment of the R / V space fleet, has a distribution of weights that is very disadvantageous for stability. The heaviest elements of this equipment - antennas with their foundations and powerful electric drives - are located high above decks and superstructures, while in the interior there are mainly electronic components with relatively small weights. For example, the four main space antennas of the research vessel "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" together with the foundations have a total weight of about 1000 tons and are installed on decks located 15-25 m above the waterline level, so that the center of mass of the vessel shifts significantly upward,which requires additional measures to maintain stability.
March 25, 1993 Tenerife.
Stability difficulties also arise due to the large windage of space antennas. For example, four parabolic mirrors of "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" with a diameter of 12 and 25 m have a total area of 1200 m 2. Being placed "on the edge" and facing on board (a characteristic position for the start of communication), such antennas turn into giant sails trying to overturn the ship … Therefore, communication sessions are not carried out in strong winds. It goes without saying that when the antennas in the intervals between communication sessions are locked in the "marching" position (directed towards the zenith), their windage is many times less and no longer poses a danger to navigation.
The rocking of the vessel in waves creates significant interference to communications. First, it leads to an increase in the loads on various mechanisms (for example, the antenna complex) and worsens the accuracy of their action. Secondly, pitching reduces the efficiency of scientific and engineering personnel involved in communication sessions. Therefore, pitching reduction is a very important task taken into account when creating research vessels.
Radio engineering systems located on research vessels place high demands on the strength and rigidity of the ship's hull. Reinforcements are needed in the places where massive antennas and other items of equipment with significant weight are installed. When several highly directional antennas are installed on a ship, the increased rigidity of the hull is a prerequisite for their joint operation. For navigation in subpolar latitudes, space fleet ships have ice reinforcements of the hull.
Due to the duration of expeditionary voyages, serious attention is paid to the habitability of these ships, that is, to the working and living conditions of participants in ocean voyages. The designers of the space fleet vessels tried to create favorable conditions on them for both successful work and recreation. This is most fully implemented on universal ships, but on small ships everything possible has been done to comfortably accommodate the crew and expedition members and for their rest.
Technical data of the research vessel "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin":
- Length - 231 m;
- Width - 31 m;
- Draft - 8.5 m;
- Displacement - 45,000 tons;
- Marine power plant - steam turbine capacity 19,000 hp from.;
- Speed - 18 knots;
- Cruising range - 20,000 miles;
- Crew - 140 people;
- Scientific and technical staff - 215 people;
It was assigned to the port of Odessa. From 1971 to 1991, the ship performed 20 expeditionary voyages in the Atlantic Ocean. Its tasks included flight control of artificial earth satellites and manned spacecraft, as well as automatic interplanetary stations.
After the collapse of the USSR, the ship came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and was not used for its intended purpose. In 1996, the vessel was sold for scrap at a price of $ 170 per ton and was scrapped.
By 1996, the Black Sea Shipping Company became unable to maintain the ship and pay salaries to the crew. The replacement team, in order to survive, exchanged removed appliances, doors and cables for food - everything suitable for ground use. After the invasion of marauders, no one knows exactly what happened to the ship's library, where the ship's museum got to with gifts from astronauts and a portrait of Y. Gagarin, presented to the crew by Anna Timofeevna Gagarina.
V. Kapranov brought a key with a tag from his cabin to the Moscow Museum of the Maritime Space Fleet. This is the only relic from the beloved ship so far.
"Yuri Gagarin" and another research vessel "Akademik Sergei Korolev" were in the roadstead of the port of Yuzhny without proper supervision. Gradually, equipment began to disappear from the laboratories of the ships, everything slowly rusted and fell into disrepair.
By the beginning of 1996, the unused and unkempt ships "Akademik Sergei Korolev" and "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" were only suitable for delivery for disposal. And so it happened. The first was sold "Korolev", it was Gagarin's turn. But, isn't it a shame to sell a ship with such a world-famous name for scrap? Which exit? Change the name. This was done more than once, for example, when the "Russia" and other vessels with bright names were sent for recycling. This time part of the name was painted over, only four letters were left from the surname “Gagarin”, it turned out “AGAR”.
On her last voyage to the disposal site, the Indian port of Alang, the vessel left the port of Yuzhny (Odessa) in July 1996.
As a result, the State Property Fund of Ukraine decided to sell the ships to the Austrian company Zuid Merkur at the price of scrap metal, the Austrians received the ships at a price of $ 170 per ton. On such a sad note, the life of one of the most famous and perfect ships of the Soviet space fleet ended.